1st in Scotland for Chemistry Research Impact
In the 2014 REF, our department was rated "1st in Scotland for Chemistry research impact".
The MChem degree at the University of Aberdeen is a 5 year programme accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and leading to the professional qualification of Chartered Chemist.
This programme is studied on campus.
Chemistry is a core science that is not only the very essence of life, but is also concerned with the quality of life and its continuing improvement.
The BSc (Honours) degree is the traditional route to a chemistry qualification. It involves four years of full time study (although direct entry into second year is possible for well qualified applicants, and all four years may be undertaken part time).
This degree was instigated about 10 years ago at the request of employers and the RSC to provide graduates with a wider range of skills (including transferable skills and more research experience) than those in the BSc (Hons).
A feature of all of these programmes is a final year 4-month research project placement in the area of specialisation, usually at an overseas university, research institute or industrial laboratory. The MChem is seen as the flagship degree, and entry into the final two years is dependent on achieving at least an upper second class Honours level of performance in third year.
Chemistry graduates are very employable because a degree in chemistry opens many opportunities in areas such as drug development, environmental protection, food chemistry, petroleum chemistry, forensic science and materials development.
You will study introductory courses in Chemistry, alongside other courses which need not necessarily be science related.
The fundamentals of chemistry are important across the physical sciences and engineering. Starting with atomic structure and the Periodic Table, this course moves on to chemical bonding theory, building to the structure of organic molecules. Moving from the molecular level, acid-base theories, phase equilibria and solution chemistry are covered. The properties of ideal and non-ideal gases are then discussed. The energetics of chemical processes completes the course.
Teaching includes lectures and class workshops that put chemical concepts into a real-world context. Laboratory classes introduce important practical techniques, with experiments that support and complement the taught material.
This course will inspire students to investigate the scope and power of chemistry and to develop the necessary skills for success in undergraduate Chemistry and beyond. Students will develop an appreciation of the essentially limitless scope of chemistry in understanding and controlling the material world. Students will also become more confident learners:in particular developing competences in literacy and numeracy, communication, data collection, analysis and interpretation, discussion and presentation of complex ideas and laboratory methods.
By getting to know other students studying chemistry and finding out about lecturers’ research interests, students will feel more part of the Chemistry team.
Chemistry plays a central role in modern science and engineering, not only because of the insights it gives on the composition, properties, and reactivity of matter but also because of its wide-ranging applications. This course seeks to consolidate some of the important fundamentals of chemistry that underlie many topics and principles across the physical sciences and engineering, bringing together molecular structure, reaction mechanisms, the driving forces behind chemical reactions, and methods of chemical analysis and structure determination.
Workshops and laboratory classes complement lectures by consolidating learning and developing problem-solving and hands-on practical skills.
This course aims to encourage students to integrate their knowledge in chemistry and apply basic knowledge to more complex but widely applicable topics in chemistry and to further develop the skills for success in undergraduate Chemistry and beyond.
Students will develop an appreciation of the interconnected nature of the traditional branches of chemistry thus enhancing their confidence in using their basic chemistry knowledge. Lectures, workshops and directed reading will introduce and discuss a range of topics including some historical background and present day theories and applications of fundamental topics in Chemistry.
This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.
This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.
Select a further 60 credit points from courses of choice.
NOTE: For students who do not hold a pass in mathematics at Higher, A-level, or equivalent, they may wish to consider MA 1515 Mathematics for Science
The course is aimed at a general science audience and it focuses on providing the students with the working knowledge of a good set of mathematical skills needed in all science subjects.
This course covers key concepts in physical chemistry which underpin our understanding and ability to control chemical and biological processes. The principal points include thermodynamics (enthalpy, entropy and free energies), chemical kinetics (zero, 1st and 2nd order reactions, rate laws and half-lives and the relationship of rate laws to reaction mechanisms), and basic principles of electrochemistry (redox chemistry and the Nernst equation). A strong emphasis on calculations helps students get to grips with the course material and develops numeracy skills. Laboratory experiments support and complement the taught material.
In this course you will learn how to determine trace element patterns or the presence of a compound by using modern analytical methods. The course covers the underlying theory for analysis and identification using structure determination by spectroscopic methods like UV, IR, NMR, mass spectrometry and chromatographic separations. Atomic spectrometry is covered for trace metal determination. In practical classes, students get hands-on training with modern analytical instrumentation.
Modern organic and biological chemistry comprise the chemistry of carbon-containing compounds, which are natural (e.g. foods, fuel, perfumes) as well as synthetic (e.g. soaps, textile fabrics, pharmaceuticals). This course investigates some key areas in organic chemistry: shape, conformation, stereochemistry, and chemical properties of organic and biological compounds. Reactions and reactivity of aliphatic derivatives, olefins and aromatic compounds will be considered with particular reference to spatial and electronic effects. The experiments performed in the lab will help students understand key organic concepts and develop their synthetic/analytical skills.
This course investigates some key areas of inorganic chemistry. An introduction to simple crystal structure types is given and important solid state materials such as high temperature superconductors, photocatalysts and zeolites are described. The concept of symmetry is introduced. Redox chemistry is developed in terms of Latimer, Frost and Ellingham diagrams: their applications in modern technology and industry are emphasised, including batteries, fuel cells, corrosion, electrolysis and water purification. The key properties of transition metal complexes - shapes, colours and magnetism are described and analysed in terms of crystal field theory. Laboratory experiments are closely tied to the lecture materials.
Select a further 60 credit points from courses of choice
This module will help students refresh their knowledge of the first two years of study in chemistry and help them to prepare for the general exam papers in fourth year. There are no taught classes, but students are given four assessed homework exercises spread throughout the academic year.
This course introduces students to the fascinating properties of inorganic materials through a series of lectures, tutorials and laboratory experiments. An introduction to crystallography and crystal diffraction is given. The students will also learn about solid state synthesis and the properties of important solid state materials such as high temperature superconductors, zeolites and ferroelectric materials. An introduction to the chemistry of transition metals and main group elements will be given.
Students will gain hands on experience in powder X-ray diffraction and will synthesise some of the key materials described within the course during the laboratory practicals.
This advanced course describes, through a series of lectures, tutorials and laboratory practicals, how state-of-the-art and conventional analytical techniques can be used to characterise environmental processes. Important chemical processes which impact the environment in which we live will be described. These include ozone generation and depletion in the atmosphere, an introduction to xenobiotics and the importance of metals in biomolecules.
Students will get the opportunity to use state-of-the-art analytical instruments, including chromatographic systems and trace element analysers during the laboratory practicals.
This course introduces important fundamentals of organic chemistry. You will gain a firm grounding in NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry which are vital analytical tools to determine if the correct organic molecule has been synthesised. Biological chemistry such as DNA/RNA and genome sequencing will be introduced. Organic synthesis lectures will concentrate on chemistry of the carbonyl group, aromatic synthesis and pericyclic reactions.
Students will gain expertise in the synthesis of a number of different organic compounds such as dyes, compounds that change colour with temperature and an antibiotic during the laboratory practicals which accompany this course.
This course deals with important aspects of physical chemistry through a series of lectures, tutorials and laboratory experiments. Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of spectroscopy and will gain an understanding of the nature of chemical bonding. An introduction to the thermodynamics and applications of electrochemical systems will be given. We will show how variables such as pressure and temperature affect reaction rates and how this can lead to a better understanding of reaction mechanisms, in particular, industrially important polymerization reactions. The chemistry of liquid and solid surfaces will also be described with examples relating to the petrochemical industry.
This course will give students opportunities to develop technical and professional skills necessary for success in Honours level Chemistry/Physics and beyond. The course will include working with scientific literature, computer programming and the use of software tools in research and activities to enhance employability. Students will develop an appreciation of the power of state of the art computer programs to assist the user to understand complex data sets. Students will also become more confident in communicating and assessing scientific ideas. By considering their own skills development, students will feel more able to identify and compete for exciting graduate employment opportunities.
The aim of this first half-session course is to provide a combination of research experience and group work via research-focused group activities involving experiment planning, teamwork and the collection, sharing and interpretation of data. The group, in consultation with the supervisors, will develop a project plan where the overall aim and the objectives of the individual students are established. The development of a variety of transferrable skills is an important feature of this module, including working in a team, project planning, the presentation of results, time management, report writing and verbal communication.
The level-4 individual research project for MChem students runs in the second half-session and affords students opportunities to learn modern research techniques and to develop some expertise in the topic of their project. As far as possible, projects are allocated in accordance with student preferences. Every project has a named supervisor and there is considerable scope for students to use their initiative in experimental design and interpretation of results. The development of a variety of transferrable skills is an important feature of this module, including project planning, presentation of results, time management, report writing and verbal communication.
Select a further 15 credit points from courses of choice in Level 3 and 4.
MChem personal project takes 6 months and is usually undertaken at a partner university in Europe, in an industrial laboratory or departmental research group.
The module consists of three main components including lecture courses chosen to reflect a broad range of advanced topics in chemistry and assessed by examination. These courses are complemented by a number of workshops describing advanced research techniques again drawing from examples across the breadth of chemistry and these are continuously assessed. The workshops involve distinguished visiting lecturers. The final component involves a number of workshops focussed on topics such as how to analyse and critique papers drawn from the literature, how to critically assess research proposals and discussions of topical case studies involving matters of research ethics.
In the second half of Level 5, students gain research experience in a professional research environment, normally in a laboratory on mainland Europe. These projects extend from January to April and students may obtain additional funding from the Erasmus scheme to cover their extra costs associated with living abroad. Students may undertake their placement further afield, for example in North America or Australia, or within Aberdeen, subject to individual circumstances. Students undertake a comprehensive literature review on the topic of their project during the first half-session. The project placement is at the heart of the MChem and richly enhances employability.
We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:
The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.
Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.
The typical time spent in scheduled learning activities (lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals), independent self-study or placement is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.
The typical percentage of assessment methods broken down by written examination, coursework or practical exams is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.
The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.
SQA Highers - AAAB*
A Levels - ABB*
IB - 34 points, 5 at HL*
ILC - AAAAB (B2 or above required)*
*Chemistry at Grade A and another Mathematics/Science subject required.
The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.
To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:
OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0
OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21
OVERALL - 54 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54
Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:
OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
|Home / EU||£1,820|
|Students Admitted in 2020/21|
|Students Admitted in 2020/21|
View all funding options in our Funding Database.
A Chemistry degree will prepare you for a career in Chemistry, but it can also be a stepping stone to many other opportunities. Chemistry graduates are very employable due to the breadth of career opportunities in many areas, such as:
Our chemistry graduates have found employment with a number of top companies, including:
Find out more about careers in chemistry from the Royal Society of Chemistry - www.rsc.org/careers/future/your-future-chemistry
In the 2014 REF, our department was rated "1st in Scotland for Chemistry research impact".
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
Student-led social and employability events and seminars.
Students may undertake their project in Europe or further afield, e.g. in North America or Australia, or within Aberdeen, subject to individual circumstances. The project placement is at the heart of the MChem and richly enhances employability.
Example - Two Chemistry teams at Aberdeen have developed a revolutionary new method for creating a new class of therapeutic drugs, called macrocycles, which are complex to create and can address a large number of poorly treated conditions.Find out more